Saturday 20 December 2014

Number of PCs using Windows XP down to 10pc as deadline looms

Published 20/03/2014 | 02:30

Windows XP is still running on 10 pc of all PCs

The number of Irish PCs using the condemned operating system Windows XP has fallen, three weeks before Microsoft switches security support for the operating system off.

According to new figures from the web-tracking firm Statcounter, the number of Irish PCs using Windows XP fell from 10.8pc to 10.4pc in February, while installations of Windows 8 rose 1pc to 16pc.

Windows 7, which remains the most popular PC operating system in Ireland, was unchanged at 51.4pc.

The figure still leaves one in 10 Irish computers set to be hit by an increase in computer viruses and security malware from April 8 next month, when Microsoft is to cease providing security alerts for Windows XP.

Globally, one in three PCs still uses Windows XP, according to Statcounter and other tracking services, such as Netmarketshare.

However, the operating system, which is 12 years old, is most prevalent in developing countries.

Microsoft has been warning about its switch away from Windows XP for several years.

The IT giant says that Windows XP, because of its age, is 12 times less secure than Windows 8, even with the correct security patches.

Last month, the Irish Government had to agree a €3.3m emergency payment to Microsoft to provide extra security cover for Irish Government PC systems that have not yet switched away from the Windows XP system.

The measure will provide several government departments with interim security support while IT managers upgrade computers to newer versions of Microsoft software, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Banks and some large enterprises have also had to pay interim premiums for extra security cover while they upgrade their machines.

In Ireland, the most used PC operating system is Windows 7 (51.4pc), followed by Apple's OSX (12.1pc) and Windows 8 (15.9pc).

Windows XP is trailing on 10.4pc of Irish computers, while Windows Vista is still installed on 7.4pc of PCs here.

The figures apply to personal computers and are separate to operating systems measured on tablet computers and smartphones.

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